For the second time in as many months, Grovetown city officials raised water and sewer rates at a council meeting Monday.
Initially, the city council raised the rates by 15 percent in a November meeting. On Monday, they raised the rates an additional 10 percent starting in January.
"We were hoping to get away with the 15 percent hike. That was our initial goal," Grovetown Water and Sewer Director Todd Baldwin said. "The more we started looking into the infrastructure costs, things we were going to need to help better the water and sewer system, we needed to go up more, just to keep the same level of service we're currently providing without losing money."
Infrastructure costs include replacing old water lines, building new lines for new housing developments and preventative maintenance on pump stations, Baldwin said.
"We're at the point now where we've got some equipment that is so outdated it's hard to find parts for them," he said.
"If you do find a part, it's almost costing as much to buy the part and get it fixed than to just go ahead and buy a new one," he said.
A Grovetown resident paying the minimum water bill of $13.25 a month for 3,000 gallons of water will see their bill increase to $16.50.
"We're trying to keep it fair across the board," Baldwin said. "The people that don't use as much water won't be affected that much. At the same time, the people that use an extreme amount of water need to understand that if they're going to use this extreme amount, we're going to have to bill them for it."
The city council also voted to increase tap fees by $50.
Homeowners wishing to tap into the city's water lines will now be charged $700, and $500 for a sewer-line tap.
Seven housing developments are in various stages of construction in Grovetown and at least two others are being planned, Baldwin said.
The added funds from tap fees and the rate increase will help Baldwin's department keep up with the demand, he said.
"We're in a situation where we've got all these houses going up, and we're trying to make sure we keep everything up to standards," he said.
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